With at least 1.5 billion car tyres reaching the end of their roads every year globally, disposing of them in a bio-friendly and sustainable way has become a major problem for car owners who don’t know what to do with them. And it’s even more complex for those averse to the impact dumping them has had on the world’s environment, according to Australian tyre expert Chris Lett.
Lett welcomes the recent developments in tyre recycling brought about by car and tyre manufacturers as well as recycling and environmental organisations.
“This could at last vastly reduce the problem, or even put an end to the huge number of tyres which are left on the side of the road, or find their way into landfills, where their bulk, resilience, and fire risk provide a safety threat, the toxins they leach into the soil, and there’s unnecessary waste of reusable and valuable materials,” Lett says.
The Many Varied Ways of Recycling Tyres
He says that as concern rose about the size of the problem, and the environmental hazards inherent in tyre waste disposal, various solutions have been suggested. They have ranged from gardening and home ideas to attempts to get rid of old tyres by burning them, as well as ongoing investigations into how the materials used in their manufacture could be changed, or recovered for re-use, and the resultant development of increasingly powerful chipping and shredding machines.
The creative homeowners and crafters who came up with designs for tyre re-usage, set a trend for a while by restructuring them as garden pots, swings, bases for patio tables and ottomans. However, these made only a tiny dent in the number of dumped tyres, according to Lett. Attempts to burn them were also unsuccessful because of the months it could take to put out the fires, and tyres’ tendency to smoulder for years.
The Two ways to Dispose of Used Tyres
Lett, who has been recycling tyres for the past 15 years at Branigans Tyres in Burleigh Heads, Queensland, has been doing it in his own way. Where possible he recovers nearly new tyres carrying well-known brands, and tests and grades them according to the amount of road life they still have ahead.
“When it comes to recycling tyres, there are really only two ways to go. The first is to send the used tyres to recycling companies where they are chipped and broken down, or shredded, for use as fillers in construction, railway and road development, where they improve the grip and lower the sound or as mulch.
“The second is sorting, testing and grading tyres to determine how much life is left in them and seeing how this can be utilised. Those which meet the standards required in Australia, can return to the road, but the only way to extend their life if they don’t meet those requirements, is to ship them to third world countries where they would meet the standards, and at the same time help those who cannot afford the cost of new tyres to return to the road with more safety,” he says.
For further information, visit or call Chris and his team at Second Hand Tyres Gold Coast |Branigans Budget Tyres by contacting the Service Centres in Burleigh Heads (07) 5535 2660 or Southport (07) 5591 8633.